Director of Marketing and Recruitment

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Joanna Oman is Director of Marketing & Recruitment at a Business School.

About you?

What is your background?
MA in Teaching English as a Foreign Language / three years of teaching in universities / two years of admin work

What initially attracted you to your job?
As a lecturer I was on a temporary contract and found myself unemployed every 15 weeks. After three years of working in 15 week phases I felt I needed something more secure and stable. I wanted to be able to plan my holiday and to know what I will be doing in one year or four months time.  I also found teaching repetitive and felt there was a glass ceiling I couldn't get through. The university was not willing to pay for my PhD or offer me a contract although I was one of their better teachers at that time

Define your job?
As a marketing and recruitment director I oversee the admissions department and develop marketing strategies for the school. I work with representatives all over the world, travel frequently to promote the school, and create systems which will help us generate and maintain a good number of students and build up our brand

Can you walk me through your day to day activities?
The first thing I do when I get to work is to check my emails. I respond to the urgent matters and make a to-do list for the day. I then visit the head of school office and address various marketing plans and activities that will need funding or approval. I go over admissions reports and look out for any negative trends. Then I do some marketing research or work on a specific marketing project (this could be creating new promotional materials or planning the next recruitment trip)

How has your job changed in the last 5 to 10 years?
In the almost two years I have been in that position I felt that the political situation has influenced our systems at work. We had to make many adjustments to accommodate the stricter immigration laws for international students

What are the key issues facing your sector?
I feel there is a very dangerous trend in visa scams / dishonest representatives. This has been a pain all the time, with the opening up of the European union private institutions find themselves in a bit of a pickle, as they must compete for new EU students with government subsidised universities offering the same courses

What are the best things and worst things about your job?

I love the travelling. It is VERY hard work, but the glamour of it never fades for me.
The worst bit is the small talk and the 'business face' you have to put on during countless hours of talking to clients who are sometimes not the most interesting people

Advice to others looking for a job?

What attributes do you need/what are you looking for when hiring someone in your role?
Someone who is confident, tolerant, willing to learn, curious about the world, different people and cultures. A very fast learner and honest about their lack of knowledge. Someone who is very committed and for whom this job is a life and not a living

What are your tips/advice for those starting out?
Don't worry if you don't know something... these people in front of you are also bluffing their way out of it

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